War Diaries

I received this in my inbox, a letter signed by a Lebanese citizen.

Dear World

July 23rd 2006, 12th day of war.

I am slowly running out of things to say. Slowly, my eyes are getting accustomed to the smoky and bloody scenes on television, my ears are getting used to the bombing sounds.

Last night, 1:00 a.m., the Israeli war planes bombed the southern suburbs for the millionth time, I could hear the sound very clearly, but still I managed not to jump out of bed and run to the television screen like I have been doing for the past days.

I remember the first night of the war, when I woke up to a loud bombing sound (the first I heard), I ran to the living room and saw my mother and brother watching the airport burn on television, in an expression of deep sadness and disbelief. Today, watching things burn has become a daily routine, I am even starting to wonder whether I will miss or not it once all of this is over.

Today, a journalist died, Layal Najib.

Slowly, Lebanon is becoming a tabula raza. Beirut's southern suburb is slowly getting reduced into powder and the emptiness overwhelming the place, although carrying a morbid smell of death and desolation, has a mesmerizing feel to it. They bombed a building there today, among other things of course. We spent hours watching it burn on television.

Right now, four men are negotiating on television, joined, from the four corners of earth, on a screen split in four. Riadh, Washington, Lebanon and Iran. To me, it seems like an absurd play. On the bottom of the screen, people are still sending announcements, looking for their beloved.

Today, I was faced with the painful fact that this war will last for months. And I decided that the world has gone mad. There will be no cease fire, they are even negotiating other parties joining the party, what a blast! More fireworks and dead bodies flying out of the windows of their own houses. Houses that once witnessed intimate moments. Mothers cooking, children playing, young adolescent girls combing their hair or toddlers learning for the first time how to tie their shoes. These houses have fallen apart now, and slowly neighborhoods are becoming deserts. Slowly, we are heading towards nothingness, the same nothingness that fills the brains of our dear international politicians. If we look at the only positive thing about this, we could say that nothingness is a wonderful place to start from. A clean, fresh Lebanon. A blank page where you can start from scratch. I am just wondering if I will still be there by then. I am starting to have doubts.

I am starting to get tired, yet I still feel writing can do something… Usually people start shouting the first one or two weeks of the event. Then, they start talking about it, then whispering. And a few weeks later, silence prevails. I hope we can keep on shouting, whether it accomplishes something or not is not important. This shouting is for us, an immunity to the numbness that might take over our minds and emotions, too much exposed to images, sounds, screams, and opinions.

A month ago, my friend and I were talking about designing a touristic map of Lebanon, and we were worried about how complex the whole research and design process would be. Flash news! We can draw it in just a few days now. Except that there are no more tourists. No need to worry. Our country has become stranger to us; we have become tourists in our own land…

with love,

a Lebanese Citizen


At Tuesday, July 25, 2006 11:36:00 PM, Blogger Chroniques Blondes said...

Dear Eve,

Lot's of people in Montreal think of you. I'm looking for my dear friend, her name is Darina Al Joundi. She's an actress living in Beyrouth. Her phone does not work. Email neither.

Where do I look?

At Tuesday, July 25, 2006 11:47:00 PM, Blogger hillz said...

please sed her number and information (address) to jamal's email:
he will ask for u
please rewrite this comment in ur email so he knows..
hope everything is fine

At Tuesday, July 25, 2006 11:48:00 PM, Blogger hillz said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At Tuesday, July 25, 2006 11:49:00 PM, Blogger hillz said...


At Wednesday, July 26, 2006 12:34:00 AM, Blogger BeeBee said...

U can never become s stranger in a city that enever forgets those who love it...

At Wednesday, July 26, 2006 6:57:00 PM, Blogger peace_head said...

i've read this e-mail. it's touching. let us all hope future will be brighter and that tourists will return to lebanon.

iran pulls a string, the US pulls another, syria pulls yet another, and israel makes its own pull.

lebanon needs strong allies. maybe turkey, france or saudi arabia. they need to be disinterested parties lured by strong economic ties. ones that can guarantee that lebanon will become no one's war ground again.


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